The revolution will be televised: six takeaways from UNLEASH America

Las Vegas may be an incongruous setting for the birthplace of a revolution, but when the history of what may well become known as “The Workplace Revolution” is written, the first UNLEASH show in Sin City will likely feature prominently.

The underlying theme of the show was a clarion call for companies to “unleash your people,” and the expertly crafted program, featuring six breakouts plus the Main and Start-Up stages, brought this recipe to the fore.

Every revolution requires a mandate for change, and the ambitious manifesto that emerged from the cavernous Aria Resort & Casino during what was a rambunctious two days featured the following six imperatives for HR to hoist aloft within their organizations.

Bureaucracy Must Die

These were not my words, but rather those of opening keynote Gary Hamel, who got the proceedings off to a uproarious start with a tirade against the folly of bureaucracy and the devastation it wreaks on performance, engagement and productivity. Hamel provided several examples (you can read some here) to support his view that bureaucracy continues to spread its ugly tentacles. This is dangerous because bureaucracy slows organizations down, stifles innovation and has a negative impact on employee well-being. All of these are bad for business, terrible for employees and the exact opposite of what is required in the 21st century. Hamel provided examples of organizations that eschew bureaucracy (e.g. Haier and Morningstar), where decision making is disseminated within the organization and innovation is allowed to flourish.

Hamel’s crusade against bureaucracy is difficult to argue against, and, as when I have heard him speak at UNLEASH shows in Europe before, there weren’t many dissenters in the house. So why are things getting worse rather than better? Perhaps it’s because the vast majority fail to take the fight from the conference floor into their organisations. The battle is not an easy one to win, but if we collect the data and build the case for exorcising bureaucracy, we can build a movement within our companies and act as the agent of change that our companies and our employees so desperately need.

Head over to UNLEASH News to finish reading: The revolution will be televised: Six takeaways from UNLEASH America